At a press conference at police headquarters on April 16, homicide investigators sought to dispel unsubstantiated rumours circulating in the media and among community members surrounding the death of Andrea White.
The 33-year-old mother of four was fatally shot in her garage in the Grace Hartman Housing Complex co-op on Forest Creek Parkway on the night of April 12.
Alwayne Bigby, 23, and Michael Davani, 21, were charged with First-Degree murder.
Police allege that the two men drove by White’s residence in a white SUV, firing several shots. The Ontario Provincial Police spotted the vehicle on Highway 401 and Bathurst St. shortly after the shooting. Ditching the vehicle and fleeing on foot, Davani was arrested nearby, while Bigby surrendered to police a few hours later.
“The persistence of these rumours can undermine the ongoing investigation and could lay the murder at the feet of persons not responsible in any way for that murder,” said Homicide Detective Sergeant Hank Idsinga. “It is for these reasons that I am addressing the media and the community.”
Idsinga said White’s death is linked to a murder in the same housing complex just over a year ago.
On April 26, 2013, Kwado “Kojo” Mensah was gunned down in the same housing complex. Sheldon Scrubb is facing a Second-Degree murder charge in that shooting. Neither man lived in the complex.
Idsinga said that a memorial service was held at Mensah’s gravesite on April 12, 2014. He would have been 21 that day.
“It is alleged that one or both of the accused in the Andrea White murder were friends of Mr. Mensah and attended that memorial service,” said Idsinga. “It’s alleged that, at 11 p.m. on April 12, 2014, Michael Davani and Alwayne Bigby attended the Forest Creek co-op and fired a handgun in the general direction of Ms. White’s residence. An adjacent unit two doors down from Ms. White’s unit was also struck by a projectile.”
He said there are no outstanding suspects in this murder and the firearm allegedly used has been recovered.
It’s my belief, based on the evidence, that after attending the memorial service at the graveside of Kwado Mensah, the two accused acted out their anger by discharging a firearm in the co-op housing complex where Mr. Mensah was killed in 2013
“It’s my belief, based on the evidence, that after attending the memorial service at the graveside of Kwado Mensah, the two accused acted out their anger by discharging a firearm in the co-op housing complex where Mr. Mensah was killed in 2013,” Idsinga said.
Deputy Chief Peter Sloly, who also attended the press conference, said White’s homicide is tragic on many levels.
“She did not deserve what happened,” he pointed out. “She was a leader in her community and central figure in her family, so her death has sent ripples throughout her family, the Forest Creek co-op, the surrounding neighbourhoods and indeed right across the city.”
Sloly said the Service has put its best resources to resolve this homicide and will continue to support’s White family, the co-op residents and the community with direct uniformed patrols. He also said that acting Superintendent Dave Vickers, of 42 Division, has been in daily contact with the family.
“We will continue to maintain a high-visibility presence in the area to restore confidence and calm in the neighbourhood and provide direct supports to the family,” he added.